McKinney Wine Merchant Owner Andy Doyle said he enjoys encouraging regulars to try new types of wines.[/caption]

Standing in the shop of McKinney Wine Merchant in downtown McKinney, a customer has a few questions for the owner, who educates the patron on a particular wine using descriptions such as “earthy,” “oaky” and “dry.”

Andy Doyle opened McKinney Wine Merchant at 120 W. Virginia St. five years ago after working more than 20 years in the wine industry.

“I could see a renaissance occurring in downtown,” he said. “I sensed McKinney could support a little fine wine shop, and I was right.”

Doyle said he enjoys doing research to make his customers happy.

“I’m more than willing to do what it takes to help,” he said. “I may have someone who’s had a wine at a restaurant in Dallas or a customer who texts me a picture of a bottle from a steakhouse in Florida, and I’ll do the work to find it.”

McKinney Wine Merchant McKinney Wine Merchant features wines from throughout the world.[/caption]

McKinney Wine Merchant carries about 250 wines, and although most sales are in the $15-$20 range, the shop does have collectible wines.

“We also do a lot of special orders,” he said. “This is a wine shop for people interested in wine, so they usually know what they want. I also get to know the customers, so I become familiar with their palates.”

Doyle said he samples every wine before he brings it to the shop.

“I blind-taste everything by getting samples from distributors,” he said. “This is a technique to assess a wine based on flavor and other factors and removes the biases that might interfere with judgment in selecting the best wine.”

In addition, Doyle said he prides himself in finding great buys for his customers as well as knowing what is trending in the wine market.

“I think I specialize in finding wines that are totally under the radar,” he said. “For instance, I carry a bottle right now that is pretty sought-after and highly rated by a couple of critics who the wine geeks would know by name.”

One sought-after bottle of wine Doyle carries is Tommasi Rompicollo ($15), which is a Tuscan blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon ranked highly by critics.

Another such find is the Ghost Block zinfandel, which comes from a Napa Valley, California, vineyard across the street from the highly touted Opus One vineyard.

Customers also find the store’s top 10 list helpful when wanting to try new wines or products, he said.

“Mamamango is consistently a No. 1 seller and is a moscato paired with mango puree that’s sweet like a mimosa,” he said. “I track the sales each week so I can display the top 10 wines and let customers know what other people are drinking. I try as much as I can to help people find something they might like.”

120 W. Virginia St., McKinney
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m., closed Mon.